Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/20/2006
Publication Date: 3/20/2006
Citation: Ziska, L.H. 2006. Impact of climate change on plant biology and consequences for public health [abstract]. Harvard School of Public Health Seminar Series. p. 42.
Technical Abstract: As a consequence of climate change and rising carbon dioxide levels, a number of aspects of weed biology are likely to be affected. These changes not only impact food security, but may include probable links to public health. Some examples of such direct links between CO2/temperature, plant biology, and public health include pollen production and allergic rhinitis (e.g. common ragweed); contact dermatitis (e.g. poison ivy growth and urishiol content); and, toxicology (secondary plant alkaloids considered poisonous to humans). In addition, indirect effects of rising CO2 and/or temperature on plant biology may include nutritional changes (e.g. increasing the ratio of Omega 3 to Omega 6 fatty acids in mungbean); pharmacology (alterations in the concentrations of atropine, scopolamine and nicotine); spread of animal disease vectors (changes in the geographic range of plants used as food sources by rats, mice, and mosquitoes) and, increased use of pesticides (reduced efficacy in chemical control of agronomic and invasive weeds associated with climate change).